WU gets swept by NYU in three games, dominated by the long ball
The Washington University softball team faced off with New York University in Purchase, New York this weekend. NYU managed to win all three games by narrow margins.
The first game was a battle between freshman pitchers Madison Denton (7-5) of Wash. U. and Maggie Swan (4-2) of NYU.
Wash. U. got the scoring started in the second inning, when sophomore Natasha Ramakrishnan drove in the leadoff triple to give the Bears the early lead. They had the opportunity to add more to the lead with the bases loaded with two down, but a soft groundout to short ended the threat. NYU didn’t waste time in responding in their half of the frame, notching two runs to give themselves a 1-2 advantage.
In the next inning, freshman Kirsten Drabek added on the incredible start to her career with her first home-run, depositing a big fly to right center field to tie the game at 2-2.
The bats on both sides remained silent for the most part until the fifth inning, where the Wash. U. squad added three runs to their side of the scoreboard. Drabek added an RBI to her box score with a sacrifice fly deep enough to score freshman Katie Gould. This was followed by back-to-back RBI singles by Ramakrishnan and senior Josi Elder to bring the score all the way up to 5-2 in favor of Wash. U. The Bears added an insurance run via a leadoff home run off the bat of freshman Nicole Hay to make the score 6-2 in their half of the sixth. NYU scored to narrow the margin to 6-3 entering the final frame.
After a hitless top of the seventh, Denton looked to get three more outs to get her team the win. With a runner on first with two down, an error by Drabek at short led to an unearned run with the score reaching 6-4 with a runner now in scoring position. A subsequent single by NYU freshman Juliana Pirro put runners on the corners with an out still to go. The next batter, Ashley Mains, blasted a pitch for a homerun, launching it into right field and scoring three runners to walk it off with a final score of 6-7.
Wash. U. turned to their undefeated freshman pitcher Holly Stoner (3-0) while NYU turned to their experienced senior pitcher Karissa Zubulake (5-4) for game 2.
NYU senior Claire Stefanelli belted one to left field in the opening inning to give NYU a 0-1 lead. There wasn’t much action after that until the fourth, where NYU added another run.
Through four innings, Zubulake had maintained a no-hitter. Ramakrishnan broke it up with a leadoff single in the fifth. This wasn’t enough momentum to score any runs as Wash. U. left a runner on heading to the bottom of the inning. NYU added two more runs in the fifth to double the lead to 0-4 with Wash. U. only having six outs to work with heading into the sixth.
Wash. U. attempted to take advantage of the limited outs they had left, scoring two to cut the lead in half in the sixth. A single by Gould set up senior Taylor Arends for an RBI double, who would herself score later in the inning off a bases-loaded walk. NYU responded with a run by their own to extend their lead to 2-5 going into the 7th.
Arends’ notched her second RBI double in the final frame, bringing in Walsh and cutting the lead to 3-5. It wasn’t enough as a routine popup to first sealed NYU’s second win of the weekend.
Wash. U. and NYU got back at it Sunday morning for one last matchup. This first contest had sophomore Kendall Schwartz (1-1) throwing for Wash. U., while NYU handed the ball to Zubulake (5-4) once again.
No runs crossed the plate for either team in the first four innings. Wash. U. struck first with a crooked number in their half of the fifth. After back-to-back errors put Hay on first and junior Hannah Bloom—who pinch ran for Elder—on second to start off the inning, a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Julia Flores advanced both runners. The next batter, Walsh, scorched a single through the left side, scoring Bloom and advancing Hay to third. Now with one out, a subsequent groundout was enough to bring in Hays, which was followed with a single by Arends to bring in Walsh and put the Bears up 3-0.
In the bottom half, NYU would retaliate with a run to trim the lead to two off an RBI single.
A one-two-three inning for both sides in the sixth primed both teams for an exciting finish to the game in the seventh. After a strikeout and a couple of groundouts acted as the last three outs for Wash. U., NYU stunned the Bears with a 3-run seventh inning to win the game. A lead-off double and subsequent wild pitch by freshman Kalena Paredes was followed by an RBI groundout that would cut the lead to just one run. After a single put a runner on first with still only one out, Denton would come out to try to force the double play to end the game. Diane King completed the comeback when she launched the ball past the left center field wall to walk it off, 3-4.
The home run was an issue for the Wash. U. pitching squad throughout and NYU did a good job of taking advantage of it. After this weekend, Wash. U. fell to fifth in the conference with a record of 4-7 while NYU rose all the way up to third place at 6-7, only trailing Brandeis (10-2) and Emory (12-4).
Wash. U. will attempt to shake off their struggles back at home in a two-game series against Webster University this upcoming Tuesday, April 23 and will follow that up with a four-game series against Case Western Reserve University.